An alarming rate of children and teens are now affected by obesity. What parents need to understand is that this health concern can be a source of a host of more medical issues. Thus, it is important to act upon it as early as possible. Here are ways parents can help their children deal with this issue:
Get Professional Assistance
Devising a weight loss plan by yourself may be detrimental to your child’s well-being. Partner up with weight loss experts in Provo for optimal results. They have extensive knowledge about creating an effective weight loss program. These experts will not treat your child as a textbook case. They will devise a personalized plan that will best fit your child’s needs.
They also have connections with people who can work alongside them. These include dietitians, fitness specialists, and clinical therapists. Having professional assistance will help you track the changes in your child better. They can administer comprehensive tests. The right medications can also be given if needed. Thus, do not skimp on getting professional help. Your child has a higher chance of overcoming this condition with their guidance.
Practice the 5-2-1-0 Method
Obesity in teens and children may partly be because of genetics. But the sad truth is that the primary reason lies in lifestyle choices. Aside from a good weight loss program, you can encourage the 5-2-1-0 approach at home.
- Five servings of fruit and vegetables: Eating fruit and vegetables is beneficial to one’s body. They are packed with vitamins and minerals. But aside from this, they are also rich in fiber. The result is that they fill up a person’s tummy. When your child is feeling full, they are unlikely to reach for some cookies or a bag of chips.
- Two hours or less of screen time: Gadgets and television promote a sedentary lifestyle. Children forget to engage in physical activity. They get absorbed in shows and games for hours to an end. Screen time is also favored against sleep. Not getting enough exercise and sleep is a contributor to weight gain.
- One hour or more of physical activity: Encourage your child to engage in physical activity outdoors. It does not mean a rigorous set of exercises. It can be games, a hike, or biking. This way, it would not feel like they are only doing it for the sake of moving. They need to enjoy it, too.
- Zero sugary drinks: Carbonated drinks, sports drinks, and fruit juices are full of sugar. Encourage your child to have more water instead.
Be Your Child’s Strongest Support System
A child or teen with obesity may experience negative emotions and social stigmas. Be sure to be there for them to have a safe environment where they can air their emotions.
- Be the Best Role Model: Lead by example. A good way to do this is to share family meals where they also see your preferences in food.
- Do Not Focus on Numbers: Being obsessed with the weight itself does not help. It can lead your child to depression or unhealthy methods such as dieting or skipping meals. Focus instead on healthy choices and fitness.
- Have Patience: Recognize that this is a process. Your child may get discouraged at times, especially when they experience bullying or teasing. Stand by them until the worst is over.
There is truth to the adage: “Health is wealth.” One of the greatest things you can give your child is good health. As a parent, it is your responsibility to lead them to the best choices for their well-being.